10 Backwater Destinations in Kerala for a Stunning Vacation

Travel Deal

Discover the top 10 backwater destinations in Kerala for a stunning vacation. Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of these picturesque locations, and experience the ultimate relaxation amidst nature’s tranquility.


Nestled in the southwestern part of India, Kerala beckons travelers with its captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and vibrant traditions. This paradise on Earth is renowned for its backwater destinations, which offer an exquisite combination of tranquil waters, lush landscapes, and a unique way of life. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a journey through the 10 most stunning backwater destinations in Kerala, providing you with insights, tips, and recommendations to make your vacation an unforgettable experience.

10 Backwater Destinations in Kerala for a Stunning Vacation

Kumarakom: A Symphony of Serenity

Situated along the shores of the majestic Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is a haven of tranquility. Lush coconut groves, emerald paddy fields, and verdant vegetation paint a mesmerizing landscape. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a treat for ornithologists, showcasing a diverse avian population. Stay in traditional Kettuvallams, or houseboats, and relish the slow-paced elegance of life on the backwaters.

Alleppey (Alappuzha): The Venice of the East

Alleppey, often referred to as the “Venice of the East,” is a backwater gem that exudes charm at every turn. Its intricate network of canals, shimmering lagoons, and vibrant houseboat cruises create a magical setting. Embark on a houseboat journey that meanders through waterways fringed by swaying palms and dotted with traditional villages. Don’t miss the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, a riveting spectacle of skill and teamwork.

Kuttanad: Where Fields Touch the Horizon

Step into the heart of Kerala’s backwaters with a visit to Kuttanad, a region renowned for its distinctive farming practices below sea level. The sight of expansive paddy fields extending to the horizon is a sight to behold. Explore the charming villages, interact with friendly locals, and savor the unique flavors of Kuttanadan cuisine. This is a journey that promises both cultural immersion and natural beauty.

Kollam (Quilon): A Tranquil Retreat

Nestled on the banks of the serene Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam offers a more offbeat backwater experience. The town’s rich history is reflected in its colonial-era architecture and Portuguese influences. Opt for a canoe or kayak ride to explore the secluded corners of the backwaters, where you can witness traditional coir-making and experience the unhurried pace of local life.

Thiruvallam: Where Backwaters Meet the Sea

Thiruvallam presents a unique fusion of backwaters and the sea. This tranquil destination is perfect for kayaking enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Paddle through the picturesque Neyyar River, enveloped by lush greenery and the soothing sounds of chirping birds. As you glide through the gentle currents, you’ll feel a deep connection with the surrounding ecosystem.

Kasaragod: Serenity in the North

For travelers seeking a quieter, lesser-explored backwater experience, Kasaragod is a hidden treasure. Located in the northernmost part of Kerala, this destination boasts a network of estuaries, rivers, and lagoons. The untouched beauty of this region offers a peaceful escape, allowing you to immerse yourself in the serenity of nature.

Kozhikode (Calicut): Backwaters and Beyond

While Kozhikode is renowned for its historical significance, it also offers a charming backwater retreat. The Canoli Canal is your gateway to exploring the idyllic countryside, where you can observe traditional fishing practices and witness the confluence of culture and nature. Indulge in local delicacies and capture the essence of this multifaceted destination.

Cherai: Where Backwaters Embrace the Sea

Cherai is a coastal paradise where the backwaters and the Arabian Sea harmoniously coexist. The golden sands of Cherai Beach contrast beautifully with the tranquil backwaters. Watch fishermen at work with their iconic Chinese fishing nets, collect seashells, and take leisurely strolls along the shore. The fusion of landscapes creates an enchanting ambiance that is truly captivating.

Valiyaparamba: The Hidden Oasis

Escape to Valiyaparamba, a lesser-known backwater haven in northern Kerala. Embark on a boat cruise through the serene waters, passing by pristine islands and palm-fringed shores. The tranquility of this region is perfect for introspection and relaxation, offering a retreat from the bustling world.

Kumbalangi: Eco-Friendly Delight

Immerse yourself in the rustic charm of Kumbalangi, an eco-friendly village near the bustling city of Kochi. Here, you can experience a backwater retreat that embraces sustainable tourism. Explore the intricate network of mangrove forests, try your hand at crab farming, and navigate the tranquil waters in traditional canoes. Homestays provide an authentic glimpse into the local way of life.


Is Kerala suitable for a family vacation?

Absolutely! Kerala’s diverse attractions, including backwaters, beaches, and hill stations, make it an ideal destination for families seeking a memorable vacation.

When is the best time to visit these backwater destinations?

The period from October to March offers pleasant weather, making it the perfect time to explore Kerala’s backwaters and enjoy outdoor activities.

Are houseboats a comfortable accommodation option?

Yes, houseboats are well-equipped with modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay while you immerse yourself in the beauty of Kerala’s backwaters.

How can I experience the local culture during my backwater vacation?

Interact with locals, indulge in traditional cuisine, and participate in cultural events and festivals to get a true taste of Kerala’s rich heritage.

Are water-based activities safe for non-swimmers?

Absolutely! Many backwater activities, such as canoeing and houseboat cruises, are safe and enjoyable for non-swimmers as well.

Can I book accommodation in advance?

Yes, it’s advisable to book accommodations, especially houseboats, in advance, especially if you’re planning to visit during the peak tourist season.


The backwater destinations of Kerala offer an unparalleled escape into a world of natural beauty and tranquility. Each destination has its own unique charm, whether it’s the serene waters of Kumarakom, the vibrant culture of Kollam, or the eco-friendly ethos of Kumbalangi. As you explore these backwaters, you’ll not only witness breathtaking landscapes but also forge a deeper connection with the rich heritage and vibrant traditions that define Kerala. So, pack your bags and embark on a journey to these stunning destinations for a vacation that will leave you rejuvenated and inspired.

Leave a comment